A plan to expand Tesla's giga factory in Grünheide, near Berlin, using forested land has been approved by the local city council despite opposition from residents and environmental activists. The approval was given by the Grünheide Municipality.

In a vote held in the local council under police protection, 11 members supported the revised development plan, 6 opposed it and 2 abstained.

The approval came after protests and criticism from residents and climate activists.

Tesla, owned by Elon Musk, was to expand the 300-hectare factory by over 100 hectares. However, the company was forced to scale back the plan after residents in Grünheide voted against the expansion in February.

Residents' concerns included the deforestation necessary for the expansion, the plant's high water consumption and the increase in road traffic in the area.

Philippine Volcano Erupts, Spewing Plumes 5,000 Meters High Philippine Volcano Erupts, Spewing Plumes 5,000 Meters High

In the new proposal, Tesla canceled plans for staff facilities such as a daycare center on the factory site, reducing the originally planned expansion area of over 100 hectares to around 50 hectares and assuring residents that it would address their concerns.

PROTESTED SINCE FEBRUARY

Since February, climate activists have been protesting in a camp of tree houses against the expansion of the Tesla factory and deforestation.

The protesters demanded that politicians respect the citizens' vote against the expansion of the plant and implement the result of the vote. Activists argued that the forested area next to the factory was occupied by Tesla and demanded the protection of drinking water areas in the region.

The factory, known as "Giga Berlin" and employing 12 thousand people, produces batteries, powertrains and vehicles.

Editor: David Goodman